Like many of us, you probably bought a camera when you arrived in Singapore thinking: “I’m gonna be around for a while and I plan to travel in the region so I’d better invest in a nice camera to take memorable pictures (and make my friends back home jealous).  Plus the prices are better here than home (more on this) so it’s a no-brainer. Let’s break the piggy bank and get that nice Canon or Nikon DSLR. Now that you have that nice DSLR, then what?

You’ve traveled around and you soon realized that the camera does a lot but needs a bit of direction to make amazing pictures. Often, you travel around Asia across green rice fields or in the jungle, under a partially cloudy sky with a very bright light. Every time you get back home, you look at your pictures and half of them are burnt or over-exposed (very bright white on clouds or water). Looks like your skin is not the only one to suffer from the sun… The difference is that your skin turns red, your pictures turn white.

Here are some tips that will help you bring perfect shots back home and spam your Facebook friends with amazing pictures (while they complain about the weather back home).

You want to keep it simple and still be able to shot without setting up all parameters on your camera. Here is the 1 million dollar tip in 4 simple steps:

  1. Use the P mode. This mode will enable you to adjust the 2 settings you need to adjust and keep all the rest automated
  2. Change your white balance (WB) from Auto to Cloudy
  3. Change your exposition correction to -1/3
  4. Ready, aim, shoot!

This little trick will help you prevent your pictures from being over exposed . It’s very simple to implement and will help you have great shots.

If you are not confident that this will work (after all, you probably won’t get to see the same view again soon so you don’t want to miss your shot), take 2 pictures: one with your usual settings or a fully automated mode (like landscape) and one with the above. You can compare the shots back home (rather than on your DSLR screen).

Another way to check is actually to look at the histogram (on your camera or on your computer) and check that you don’t have a spike at the very right (white color) of it. You want to avoid this:hitogram

Finally, if the sky is too cloudy, the white will be over exposed. One way to manage this is to… frame your picture without sky!

Don’t wait for months to test this! Give it a try in your next trip or over the weekend in Singapore.

This is just a simple way to improve your pictures. Of course, if you have more time and want to make full use of your camera, you will need to spend many hours playing with it to explore better settings. We don’t pretend to be photograph experts. Just wanted to share some tips 🙂